Lowest unemployment rate of the century in the 3rd quarter

news release no 137

According to Statistics Estonia, in the 3rd quarter, the unemployment rate was 3.9%, the labour force participation rate was 71.9% and the employment rate was 69%. The estimated number of employed persons was 677,300, which is 10,700 more than in the same quarter of the previous year. The number of long-term unemployed also declined.

Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the unemployment rate decreased by 1.3 percentage points. The labour force participation rate and the employment rate remained at a similar level.

Changes in different age groups have not been significant: employment has slightly increased and unemployment has decreased. The highest employment rate was expectedly recorded among the population aged 25–49 (84.3%) and the employment rate among people aged 50–74 remains at a high level (60.1%). The estimated number of full-time workers in the 3rd quarter was 598,300 and the number of part-time workers was 78,900. The number of underemployed persons decreased: the estimated number of persons who do not work full-time, would like to work more and are ready to accept suitable work immediately (within two weeks) was 5,200.

The estimated number of unemployed persons was 27,700; compared to the same quarter of the previous year, the number of unemployed persons decreased by 9,100. The unemployment rate among Estonians was 3.4% and among non-Estonians 5.1%. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, unemployment decreased in both groups. The number of long-term unemployed in the 3rd quarter of 2019 was 4,300 – the number declined compared to the same quarter of the previous year. The long-term unemployed are persons who have been unemployed for 12 months or more; they are also regarded as the unemployed who are at the highest risk of poverty.

The number of inactive persons in the 3rd quarter was 276,000 – the number increased compared to the year before. The main reasons for being inactive were retirement (79,500), illness or disability (67,800) and studies (63,200). The number of persons who were inactive due to illness or disability or taking care of members of family or children increased compared to the year before.

See the breakdown of the population aged 15–74 by labour status in the 3rd quarter of 2018 and 3rd quarter of 2019.

The unemployment rate is the share of the unemployed in the labour force (the sum of employed and unemployed persons). The employment rate is the share of the employed in the working-age population (aged 15–74). The labour force participation rate shows the share of the labour force in the population aged 15–74. The estimates are based on the data of the Labour Force Survey, which has been conducted by Statistics Estonia since 1995. Every quarter, 5,000 persons participate in the survey. In Estonia, the main representative of public interest is the Ministry of Social Affairs, commissioned by whom Statistics Estonia collects and analyses the data necessary for conducting the statistical activity.

For further information:

Eveli Voolens
Analyst
Population and Social Statistics Department Statistics Estonia
Tel. +372 625 9334

More detailed data have been published in the statistical database (employed persons, inactive persons, employees, unemployed persons, general data on the labour market).